Entries Tagged 'Elections' ↓

UPDATE: Who will win the Rapid City Mayoral Race today?

UPDATE: I was off a bit, Salamun wins Rapid City mayor.

I will admit I knew about the election, but not until about 5 minutes ago I decided to research the candidates. I know nothing about any of them except for what I read today.

Just based on donations, I would give the victory to Estes, but since this is a plurality election, I think the three other men running would steal votes from Estes giving the victory to Armstrong (who is the only woman running).

I guess we will see.

Either way, these two will likely be in spots 1 and 2. Estes seems like a moderate businessman while Armstrong tends to be moderate to progressive.

I think it would be quite an upset tonight if Armstrong squeaks by.

Sioux Falls Chamber has shakeup

The Chamber announced they are replacing(?) Debra Owen;

The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that Mitch Rave has been hired as the organization’s vice president of public policy.

The son of former South Dakota House Speaker Tim Rave, he holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of South Dakota.

Debra confirmed to me she left the Sioux Falls Chamber and is happy to be moving on. Her husband David leads the State Chamber. Debra’s title was VP/Director of Public Policy, so I am assuming Tim is replacing her.

Mitch has some big shoes to fill. Besides years of government experience working for the City of Sioux Falls as clerk and a top legal advisor to Governor Daugaard. Debra also has a law degree and has extensive knowledge about city and state government.

In my dealings and conversations with Debra in the past, she was always fair and listened to your side, she didn’t always agree but was never combative and would always dig for answers, probably the reason former Mayor Mike Huether* pushed for her termination. City government has a knack at getting rid of the good ones.

Mitch’s dad, Tim Rave, is president and CEO of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations and sits on the Board of Regents.


The list is still pretty short but it seems Mike Huether and Christine Erickson may be in. They have both been reaching out for early support (Mike more then Christine) I have not heard any more rumblings about Alex Jensen. Greg Jamison will also probably be exploring a mayoral bid, and I think if Huether officially announces he will jump in.

Another name that was floated was Vaney Hariri. I guess friends and colleagues have been asking him to run. I don’t know him personally so I have no idea if he is taking the encouragement seriously but he would be a great addition to the field.

I want Christine and Mike to know I have been greasing up the way back machine, and once I get it running it will probably start smoking once it’s gets to your government careers. Erickson has a much better record, and has shown to be a good campaigner. Winning both a school start date ballot initiative and the slaughterhouse vote (even though they mothballed the place).

I think any outside candidates are going to have fun watching these two duke it out on the debate stage.

UPDATE II: Sioux Falls School Board Candidates equally qualified

UPDATE II: I think the vote tonight will be an incredibly low turnout. Some have predicted about 2,000 but I think it will be closer to 6,000. I also think Johnson will win by over 60% of the vote. Hopefully the results come in quickly so Brian’s wife can get pack to dishes and laundry.

UPDATE: I am encouraging people to vote for Johnson. After hearing Mattson’s radio ads about supporting the new social studies standards I just can’t support a Noem puppet.

The ‘Man-Splaining’ video didn’t help matters either;

It has been a very long time since I have looked at a local election ballot and had trouble picking a candidate. This happened when I early voted last week. I voted for Johnson, but almost voted for Mattson.

I ultimately picked Johnson based solely on experience. But I really liked Mattson’s stance on fiscal responsibility, and that he understands the Constitution and 1st Amendment 🙂

I guess what I am saying is this is a NON-endorsement, I think both candidates are equally qualified and having either one serve would be an asset to Sioux Falls.

For once we had a real choice!

UPDATE: Does Minnehaha County Auditor’s petition ‘policy’ violate 1st Amendment Rights?

UPDATE: There has been a rumor circulating that this all came about because a PETITIONER filed a protection order against a former Republican State Legislator. I’m not going to finger him until I know for sure, but it seems like his style since he is MAGA and supports abortion without protections. I guess he pushed a (pro-choice) petitioner and that is why they filed the order. But what is bizarre is that the petitioner was the one being harassed NOT the people walking by the petitioners. Maybe the county needs to have a policy that protects petitioners from MAGgots.

While I have heard from others that they were being ‘harassed’ by petitioners I personally never have. I either say yes or no and walk off. People who have the impression they are being harassed would have never signed your petition anyway.

Either way, petitioners have 1st Amendment rights to gather in public spaces, especially for petition gathering, the County Auditor thinks differently;

One will be in the Minnesota Avenue parking lot on the west side of the administration building, about 25 feet from the main entry where residents often enter to take care of automobile registration, voting and other county business.

The other will be adjacent to the county courthouse on the south sidewalk but away from the two stairways that lead to the main entryway.

I find it ironic those who claim to be on the side of Liberty, Freedom and Justice want to TRY to limit our Constitutional Rights. This is an obvious attempt at limiting petition gathering since this is one of the best places to gather signatures, and they know it.

I encourage any petitioner to ignore the rules and petition in front of the main entries and if threatened with arrest I would remind them you have a 1st Amendment Right to petition the government, especially on tax payer owned property. The County Commission and County Auditor do NOT have the constitutional authority to do this (that is why they call this a ‘policy’ and not a law or ordinance, because it is just a suggestion and they know it).

The County Commission ate it up and voted full authoritarian unanimously to limit the areas (FF: 24:00)

Sioux Falls School Board Candidate Forum Tonight

(An interesting moment in the video is when candidate Johnson didn’t know how to answer a question about the separation of church and state.)

The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce will host a School Board Candidate Forum on Thursday, May 4 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the school district’s Instructional Planning Center. This forum will feature Dawn Marie Johnson and Brian Mattson who are the two candidates actively running for one open seat on the Sioux Falls School Board.

The forum will be moderated by the League of Women Voters. Candidates will answer questions on their goals if they are elected.

This forum is free and open to the public. It will also be livestreamed on the Sioux Falls School District YouTube channel and KLRN TV- Midco cable channels 20 and 595.

(I voted yesterday early at the IPC. The person attending the voting told me they are getting 30-40 early voters per day. They are hand counting the vote, so I am sure whoever wins it will be by at least 80-90% of the vote 🙂

Kirby suggests we eliminate the mayor as a councilor

I support this, but I am not sure the Charter Revision Commission will be on board;

I have some suggestions for improving the structure of our city government in advance of the 2026 election. My main recommendation is that the Charter Revision Commission give voters the opportunity to improve the mayor’s job description before the new person gets the job. A more traditional separation of powers in city government could help avoid some of the problems the city has experienced. The mayor would no longer serve on the city council.

The city’s chief executive job is more than enough for one person. I envision a structure like that used in state and federal government where the chief executive is separate from the legislature. This change would empower the council to take a stronger role in setting policy, as we originally intended thirty years ago when we put this form of city government in place.

As I said, the heaviest lift will be getting the CRC to put this on the ballot, especially with an election that will have a laundry list of mayoral and council candidates. He is absolutely correct that this needs to be done to even out the powers between the council and mayor’s office.

I think the secondary hurdle will be getting voters to support it. I’m sure there will be opposition, but I am NOT sure how the voters will take it or understand it. Opinions change quickly though, just look at the slaughterhouse vote.

Not only do I encourage voters to support this on the ballot box BUT to get involved before that and encourage the CRC to put this on the ballot.

Eliminating Drop Boxes in South Dakota mostly hurts the majority party

I was well aware that former City of Sioux Falls Deputy Chief of Staff (who left the administration suddenly with little to no explanation) was behind this baffling legislation;

T.J. Nelson, a lobbyist for Opportunity Solutions Project, a conservative advocacy group that has pushed for restrictions to absentee voting in state legislatures, also issued warnings while working with legislators and county auditors to make it “easier to vote but harder to cheat,” a mantra used by supporters of early-voting reforms.

“Other states have a lot of issues with people just going out and pre-filling these absentee request forms, doing the work for the voter except signing their name, and then dumping ballots,” Nelson testified. “We need to make sure someone isn’t taking a hundred ballots and stuffing them into a ballot box.”

If a ballot is signed by the voter in a sealed envelope how is this fraud? Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny can drop your sealed ballot in a drop box at 2 AM if they wanted to, it doesn’t change the status of your vote OR your valid signature. As pointed out in the article, a USPS box is NO different then a drop box since you can still mail in a ballot. Oh, there is a difference, a postal box is less secure.

I believe the absentee voting rhetoric actually cost councilor Stehly her re-election to city council (she lost by less then 100 votes). There was so much fear out there that I think many old school conservatives and Republicans who supported Stehly simply didn’t trust the system and either didn’t vote absentee or voted at all.

When you have a state with 50% of it’s registered voters identifying as Republican why would you want to limit their voting opportunities? Drop boxes are invented to assist ALL voters no matter your political stripe so when you limit access to Indies and Democrats you are essentially limiting Republicans also.

I sometimes wonder how these supposed right-wing activists get around with all the holes in their feet.

I almost want to vote for the ‘Trumper’ Sioux Falls school board candidate

It would probably be a hard lift for me to do that, but can you imagine the confusion he would have during orientation realizing the job isn’t about guns, ATV’s and guarding our southern border?

Sometimes decisions in elections are hard, this one is pretty much a slam dunk.

Sioux Falls School Board wants to hear from you in upcoming election, not so much when it comes to community centers

There is a school board election coming up with a Friday deadline of turning in nominating petitions. As I understand it at least 3 candidates have pulled petitions but not sure how many will turn them in. I am of the understanding a former school district employee, a Trumper and incumbent Cynthia Mickelson all pulled petitions. I guess we will see on Friday how many will turn in the petitions. The election is Tuesday, May 16th.

I’m hoping if there is any forums to hear from the candidates they will explain how they would have handled the community center debacle.

I really don’t have a dog in the fight but I think something different needed to be done, I think this person makes a really good point;

So, it’s disconcerting that the city and school district, led by people who do not use these facilities, think they can make such a disruptive shift without public buy-in. Not a public vote, poll, or anything. 

And here in lies the problem. We know there was NO public input on this. We also know the city council was blind-sided by the proposal. So who proposed this? Was there a public out-cry from parents wanting a different program that now costs them?


We could debate until we are blue in the face as to whether this is a good idea or not, but how the proposal came about is a fine example of how public policy should NOT be shaped. And what makes this even worse is that two local government entities are in cahoots with the coverup.

Is the South Dakota State Legislature looking at limiting Municipal Referendums?

It has been brought to my attention that a small southeastern town city administrator is pushing to get a bill submitted (hasn’t been yet) taking municipal referendum and initiative signature requirements to 20 percent of registered voters from 5 percent. This will eliminate yet another safety net to keep city councils in line. That would change the required signatures in Sioux Falls to jump from around 6k to over 24K. Ironically it would take more signatures in Sioux Falls to get an initiative or referendum on the ballot then the amount of people who typically vote in a municipal election.

I often remind people that 1) we need to make the referendum process easier not harder and 2) and signing a petition doesn’t mean you approve of the initiative just your right to vote on it. For example, I signed the slaughterhouse petition even though I already knew I would vote against it. Direct Democracy is a beautiful thing and any opportunity we have to use it and promote it is good for the public.